How to Hook Up Satellite TV in RV? Find Your Answer By Our Expert View

Do you know how to hook up satellite TV in RV? Exploring exotic locations in an RV away from home is fun and exciting. However, driving and exploring can get tiring, and even a wandering soul wants to relax and watch some TV in the evening.

For good picture quality and more number of channels, there are satellites for RVs that enhance your TV watching experience on the go. To hook up satellite TV in RV, the main components are:        

Satellite Antenna (also known as ‘dish’)

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Receiver (such as DVR box that lets you change channels as well as record shows)

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Satellite Service Provider

Types of Satellite TV Antennas

Choosing what type of antenna to use for your RV depends on your service provider, weather resistance in your most frequented locations, and portability.    

Permanently Fixed

These are quite similar to the ones at home. They can be dome-shaped or open-dish. Usually, these are installed on the roof of the RV, and their position stays fixed.    


These can be great forest river satellite setup where the canopy openings are very limited or for tailgate setup. The mobile satellite antenna has the tripod that allows you to position it at the best place to receive the satellite signal. The portable antenna can be placed at a distance of several feet from your RV for better reception. It is connected to the receiver via a cable.

When you are not using your portable antenna, it occupies a lot of storage space. They also take more time to hook up satellite TV in RV on every new location. You need to properly secure and stake these antennas to protect them from weather damage.

Standard Dish

These have open concave dish shape that mostly comes to mind when you think of a satellite antenna. They are large to acquire signals from different satellites simultaneously, even if the service is weak or weather is bad. Before traveling, you have to fold them down or retract them, which means you cannot watch TV in a moving vehicle.      

Dome Antennas

These are covered inside dome-shaped fiberglass protective casing that RV owners like. You don’t have to worry about outside weather with these. Usually, dome antennas are not compatible with DirecTV. If you want to watch TV in a moving RV, dome antennas are your only choice.

Tips on How to Hook up Satellite TV in RV

Most of the satellite antennas are user friendly, and anyone can install them without a professional. The process of installation can differ, depending on what model and type of antenna you have chosen. It is best to carefully read the antenna’s user manual for the most accurate method of installation; however, the following tips are applicable in most cases.

Required Tools

You will need the below tools for completing the task if you have already the tools at your home than its fantastic. In case you do not have these tools, we have mentioned the best products and the information which tool is required. We have picked it after researching, so if you want to get it, just click the box. 

Power Drill

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Sealant Compatible with Roof

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Coaxial Cable (Usually Included in the Antenna Package)

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Fasteners to Secure the Antenna 

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Pencil or Pen to Mark a Base Location

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  • Most antenna brands advise installing the antenna along the RV’s roof’s centerline or parallel to the centerline.  
  • Avoid positing the antenna near obstructions. 
  • The base plate of your antenna will have a front/back indicator, and you need to align it with the RVs front and back.  
  • For the antenna to function properly, the angle of the roof or wherever you want to position the antenna should be 3°or less.

How to Install Satellite Dish on RV Roof

  • Find a location to place the antenna and hold it there. 
  • Mark the location for screw holes, so that you can see them when you remove the antenna from the work location.
  • Put some sealant between the marked holes along the circumference.
  • Position the antenna in place, aligning the screw holes on their mark.       
  • Use screws to secure the base of the antenna to the roof of the RV. 
  • Apply sealant along the edges where the base of the antenna touches the roof and on screw heads.
  • Now, route the coaxial cable to the interior of the vehicle via the pre-installed port on the roof of the RV, or if there is no such port, then drill a 1-inch hole for this purpose. With many antennas, the package includes a cap or plug accessory plate for this hole.

Portable Antenna Setup

  • Takeout the antenna and tripod from storage.
  • Position the tripod in a way that has a clear view of the sky.
  • Place the antenna above the tripod and secure it using screws or clamps. This may be different for different models of antennas.
  • Use stakes or weights to secure the tripod to the ground to keep it stable.
  • Most of the time, your RV will have a pre-installed port on its outsides to connect the coaxial cable with the portable satellite antenna.

Frequently Asked Questions on How to Hook Up Satellite TV in RV

How do I hook up my Dish to my RV?

A: Dish for RV is designed to work with multiple TVs and watched in moving vehicles. These are easy to set up, portable, without the need for Wi-Fi.  

  1. Connect the receiver to a source of power. 
  2. Connect the satellite to the receiver. 
  3. Turn on the TV and follow the prompts on-screen to complete the setup and enjoy it!

How do I watch Directv in my RV?

A: DirecTV has a mobile option for vehicles and RVs. DirecTV RV is quite similar to the setup for residences but not the same thing exactly. 

To watch DirecTV in RV, you need to have a DirecTV receiver. If you are already a DirecTV subscriber, you can use your existing receiver. Just unplug the receiver from your home television and connect it to a satellite dish in the RV. 

With DirecTV, you get the same high definition quality and channels in a vehicle as you get at your home. This option works best for those who travel less frequently and don’t want to spend more to take DirecTV.

Another option is to rent an extra receiver from DirecTV so that one stays in the home, and others go in the RV. This option works best for frequent travelers who leave behind family members at home.  

How can I get better reception on my RV antenna?

A: The easiest and inexpensive way to get better reception in your vehicle is by adjusting the antenna of the RV Most likely, you’d have an RV pre-wired for satellite, follow these tips for better reception.  

  • Elevate the antenna. Some antennas are fixed on their spot on the RV, they can be raised and lowered. You will have a crank on your RV’s ceiling, mentioning the words ‘Raise’ and ‘Lower.’ Turn the crank in the raise direction till it stops. Be gentle with the cranking as you don’t want to damage the gears that move the antenna. 
  • Use a signal booster. It boosts the antenna signals so that your TV gets stronger signals and detects more channels. The signal booster should be placed behind the TV inside the RV Make sure the green led of the booster is lit up when you use the antenna. 
  • Try turning the antenna. Like the antennas can be raised and lowered, they can also be rotated. If your antenna points towards the wrong direction, you will get weak signals. To rotate the antenna, just pull down the ring around the crank on the ceiling and spin it.  
  • If nothing works, consider upgrading your antenna or booster or both.

How can I get the internet in my RV?

A: The most convenient and dependable way to have high-speed internet in an RV is by using a mobile hotspot. Either buy a separate hotspot device from your cell phone service provider or get a plan that lets you use your cell phone as a hotspot. 

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Does DirecTV have a pay as you go for RV?

A: No, the service contract for DirecTV RV users is less than ideal, where you have to pay each month regardless of it being in use or not. 

Which is better for RV dish or DirecTV?

A: The answer can be different for different preferences. Dish offers a better value for money. DirecTV offers NFL Sunday Ticket and HBO, along with a huge number of channels. If we compare the price, several channels, contracts, sports channels, storage for DVR, Dish do offer better value for savvy RVers. 

DirecTV has NFL Sunday Ticket and HBO to offer, but Dish has better prices, with packages staying consistent throughout the contract. 

  • Pricing: Dish offers more value for your money in the long run, but if you want more than 330 channels, DirecTV is there for you.
  • Contracts: Dish offers a superior monthly package, while DirecTV’s prices get doubled during the contract’s second year.
  • Channels: The most popular live TV channels are available with both Dish and DirecTV, but most DIRECTV packages offer free initial three months of HBO, Starz, Cinemax, and Showtime.
  • Sports Channels: Dish has many sports channels, but DirecTV gives you NFL Sunday Ticket that football fans love.
  • DVR: Both Dish and DirecTV charge nothing for the first receiver, but DirecTV will charge a $99 installation fee if you get an additional receiver, which is expensive.

Final Words

Whether you go with a portable or fixed antenna, Dish, or DirecTV, it is easy to hook up satellite TV in RV with the simple tips shared here. We have mentioned the details on how to hook up satellite TV in RV You just need to know your preferences to decide from the available choices. We also recommend the best gears you will need to hook up satellite TV IN RV you can get those. Read about how to Clean rv Toilet here.


Alix Johnson Romi

Alix is the Co-founder of Easy Trip Guides. She started with Michael to share her love for the outdoors with people from all around the globe. She started as an outdoor lover while skiing and snowboarding in the backcountry of New Zealand with her future husband, Antonio. They shared a dream to see the world, so in 2013 they set off to cycle from California to Argentina. The freedom of the open ice route, living close to nature, and the total annihilation of her comfort zone fueled Alix's desire to keep exploring long after the bike trip was over. Her adventure addiction has taken her scuba diving with hammerhead sharks, hiking to the K2 base camp, kiteboarding in Sri Lanka, and kayaking in Antarctica. Through these experiences, she has developed a strong belief in the power of adventure to reconnect people to nature, provide meaningful jobs to impoverished communities and promote the conservation of wild places and animals. At Easy Trip Guides, she covers snowing, skating, snowboarding, and skiing as she loves to do these outdoor adventures a lot.

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